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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom Lifts Tube Maker

MILAN, Italy -- Shares of Vallourec, a maker of steel tubes used to carry oil and gas, rose Monday from a three-week low after a report that Gazprom may make a hostile takeover bid for the French company.

The Italian newspaper Finanza & Mercati on Saturday reported "rumors" that Gazprom may make a bid for Vallourec the same day or the following day.

Vallourec "doesn't comment on market rumors," Marie- Laurence Bouchon, a spokeswoman for the Boulogne Billancourt-based company, said by telephone from Paris. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom, CNPC in Talks

ST. PETERSBURG -- Gazprom discussed possible fuel sales to China's CNPC, while saying ExxonMobil's Sakhalin-1 project is complicating an agreement.

Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev held "fruitful" commercial talks with CNPC senior vice president Zhou Jiping at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Gazprom said in an e-mailed statement Sunday.

The two sides have not reached a final agreement as CNPC tries to negotiate a lower price while hoping to buy fuel from Sakhalin-1, RIA-Novosti said, citing Gazprom foreign relations director Stanislav Tsygankov at the forum Sunday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom, Petronas in Deal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Gazprom and Malaysian state oil company Petronas agreed on jointly identifying gas development projects worldwide.

The two companies will sign an initial agreement Monday to form a partnership, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said in an interview after attending the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. (Bloomberg)

Pipeline Will Be Filled

ST. PETERSBURG -- Russian oil companies have pledged more than enough oil to fill a planned pipeline across Siberia and boost refining in the Far East, Transneft CEO Semyon Vainshtok said.

"Our goal isn't to increase crude oil exports but just the opposite, to ensure as much oil as possible is refined in Russia," Vainshtok told reporters at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Sunday. (Bloomberg)

Sale of Stake to E.On

FRANKFURT -- Gazprom supports the basic structure of a deal to sell a stake in the Siberian Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field to E.On, Handelsblatt reported Monday, citing an interview with Gazprom deputy chief Alexander Medvedev.

Some parts of the deal may have to be reconsidered to reflect changed forecasts for future gas prices, the newspaper said, citing Medvedev. No decision has been reached on the deal yet, Handelsblatt said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Trades in France

LONDON -- Gazprom started trading gas at France's Powernext SA exchange, deepening its participation in Europe's energy markets.

Gazprom became the 10th company to trade gas at the Paris-based exchange when it began on June 6, Powernext said in a statement on its web site Monday. (Bloomberg)

Highveld to Sell Transalloys

JOHANNESBURG -- Highveld Steel & Vanadium, controlled by Evraz Group, said Monday that it was in talks to sell Transalloys, part of its unprofitable ferroalloys unit.

Negotiations are under way with "a number" of interested parties, Witbank, South Africa-based Highveld said Monday in a statement to the Johannesburg stock exchange. (Bloomberg)

Lack of Trust With China

ST. PETERSBURG -- Trade between Russia and China, which both countries aim to double in volume over four years, could struggle to meet targets as the two countries lack trust, a Chinese executive said Sunday.

Russia's 2005 ban on Chinese tomatoes and frozen meat, high export duties and distrust over cash payments is pushing back the development of business between the two countries, Nin Gaonin, chairman of China Grain, the country's main exporter of food produce, said during a roundtable Monday on Russia-China relations. (Bloomberg)

Barclays to Open Office

ST. PETERSBURG -- Barclays plans to open a Moscow office and "quickly" expand to gain a bigger share of investment-banking fees, said Hans J?rg Rudloff, chairman of the securities unit.

"We want to open a local presence this year and expand it quickly to 200 people," Rudloff said in an interview at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Saturday. "Local capital markets are growing very quickly." (Bloomberg)

WBD Plans Real Estate

ST. PETERSBURG -- David Yakobashvili, chairman and co-founder of Wimm-Bill-Dann, Russia's biggest dairy producer, and his partners are building a $3 billion to $4 billion Moscow complex and a number of smaller business centers in the city to tap surging demand for property.

"Construction is the most profitable" business in which he and his partners are interested, apart from dairy, Yakobashvili said Sunday in an interview at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. "In agricultural business a lot has been achieved already." (Bloomberg)

WBD Sees Dairy Growth

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Russian dairy market will grow an annual 15 percent to 20 percent in the next few years as increasing incomes boost consumption, said David Yakobashvili, chairman of Wimm-Bill-Dann.

"We are very optimistic about the market and we have everything in mind" about increasing Wimm-Bill-Dann's market presence, Yakobashvili said Sunday in an interview at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. (Bloomberg)

Bigger Goldman Office

ST. PETERSBURG -- Goldman Sachs Group sees "huge potential" for business in Russia and plans to add about 25 bankers to its Moscow office to keep pace with rivals, including Morgan Stanley.

"We're growing very fast" in Russia, Alexander Dibelius, who oversees Goldman's business in Central and Eastern Europe, said in an interview at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Saturday. Dibelius said he would have about 100 bankers in Goldman's new Moscow office by the end of the year. (Bloomberg)

Reserve Fund Pledge

ST. PETERSBURG -- Russia will not use money from its Reserve Fund, which collects part of the nation's profits from duties on oil and natural gas, unless the price for crude falls below $40 a barrel, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Sunday.

The budget for next year is based on crude costing $45 per barrel, Kudrin said Sunday. (Bloomberg)